Championship: QPR 0 Reading 0
PUBLISHED: 18:16 29 December 2018
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Reading ended QPR’s winning run, drawing 0-0 at Loftus Road to give new boss Jose Gomes his first Sky Bet Championship point.
Rangers defender Toni Leistner went closest to breaking the deadlock, twice hitting the bar.
Captain Leistner blasted against the woodwork after Reading had failed to clear Luke Freeman’s corner 10 minutes before half-time.
And the German was denied again late on, this time when his deflected shot bounced up on to the bar after Reading could only half-clear Freeman’s right-wing cross.
However, struggling Reading, in their second game under Gomes, were the better side for much of the match.
QPR, chasing a fourth consecutive victory and potentially a place in the top six, sorely missed Massimo Luongo in midfield.
Already without the injured Geoff Cameron, Rangers could also be without Luongo for as many as seven matches because of his involvement with Australia at the Asian Cup.
They struggled in his absence as Reading passed the ball around with ease at times, especially during a one-sided first-half spell prior to Leistner rattling the upright.
The Royals also made a lively start to the second half, with John Swift lifting a free-kick onto the top of the net shortly before Modou Barrow was denied by a point-blank save by Rs keeper Joe Lumley after exchanging passes with Garath McCleary inside the penalty area.
Rangers responded by dominating the final quarter of the match and had a decent appeal for a penalty waved away after Nahki Wells went down under a challenge from Andrew Rinomhota while attempting to latch onto Freeman’s pass.
Wells then volleyed wide of the near post from an awkward angle after being set up by Tiago Ilori’s weak back-header.
As Rangers continued to press, Royals keeper Anssi Jaakkola saved at the feet of Pawel Wszolek, who was sent through by a fabulous pass from Ebere Eze.
Wells then sent a first-time shot over after being found by a low corner from Freeman, who was increasingly influential for Rangers in the second half.
Freeman was denied by a fine save from Jaakola, who dived to keep out the playmaker’s spectacular volley shortly before Leistner struck the bar for the second time.
The visitors remained a threat on the counter-attack and in the final seconds Lumley dived to his left to push away a shot from substitute Danny Loader.
Reading are now without a win in nine league games but Gomes can take plenty of encouragement from their performance, although their lack of a cutting edge up front was always evident.